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Franz Aspruck

(c. 1570—1580)


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(b Brussels, ?c.1570–80, fl 1598–1604). Flemish goldsmith, draughtsman, sculptor, copper engraver and embosser, active in Germany. As a skilled goldsmith from Brussels, he is documented at Augsburg between 1598 and 1604, and from 1603 as a tax-paying citizen; before this he was probably living in Friedberg near by. After he is recorded as paying taxes three years in advance, traces of Aspruck fade away in 1604. Since he was not accepted as a master craftsman by the Augsburg goldsmiths’ trade, he worked with them as a ‘free artist’. His skills included draughtsmanship, modelling and casting as well as copper engraving, which he also taught to goldsmith apprentices and journeymen. Aspruck's drawings from 1597 to 1601 show an individual style influenced by Hendrick Goltzius and Bartholomäus Spranger, for example Venus and Amor (1598; Hamburg, Ksthalle). He also sketched for other engravers, as is known, first of all, from the surviving publishing production of the Antwerp engraver Dominicus Custos in Augsburg. In 1601 he used a new variation of engraving, furthering the art of mezzotint. A commission for Archduke Matthias in 1603 testifies to Aspruck's artistic significance in producing small-scale sculptures, of which a few survive (in bronze or wax) or are documented in silver.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.



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